20 years for 9 pounds

Schapelle Corby, 28, from Australia, was sentenced last week to 20 years in Indonesia after 9 pounds of marijuana were found in her luggage. Her sentence has gotten huge media attention in Australia, and even the government is involved.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said yesterday said it would take some months to finalise a prisoner exchange agreement between Australia and Indonesia that would allow Corby to serve some of her sentence in Australia, but not reduce it. The only way she could reduce her sentence, if her appeal was unsuccessful, was to seek a presidential pardon.

Indonesia clearly resents the intrusion of Australian politics into their courts, saying that she could have received death and that 20 years is a moderate sentence by their standards. Corby is appealing, but this is risky, as her sentence can be increased as well as decreased during the appeal.

Among the the 10 pieces of evidence against her

A drug dealer employing baggage handlers would be highly unlikely to smuggle four kilograms of marijuana into Brisbane airport and then into a stranger’s bag, just to send it on to Sydney. Such a task would further require another handler at Sydney to sneak it out of the bag and hide it while attempting to get it out of the airport. As road haulage experts have confirmed, smugglers could avoid this by sending it by road.

Me, I think a pro trying to smuggle drugs in tourist luggage would be more likely to smuggle cocaine or heroin, as it’s odorless and far more valuable, and that attempting to sneak 9 lbs.of pot out in luggage is something a neophyte one-time smuggler would recklessly attempt – and pay way too high a price for doing.